Separation & Divorce

Assisting with the care of children and parents during separation or after a divorce

  • Make the well-being of the child the top priority – that they are loved above all else as always by parents, family, friends, and God.
  • Communicate in an age-appropriate understanding the meaning and reality of divorce, why parents are divorcing, and in a language that the child can comprehend.
  • Encourage and answer all questions honestly that the child can comprehend and tolerate knowing.
  • Help the child to identify and express all their feelings honestly, acknowledge their feelings – it is a traumatic disruption, loss and change event.
  • Assurance to the child from both parents that they will continue to be there for them, but in a different arrangement, proving stability and structure of lifestyle and relationships.
  • Child needs to know that the divorce is not their fault, or God’s fault.
  • Importance that there be as little disruption of normal routines and continuity of supports – family, neighborhood, school, parish community.
  • Do not expose the child to adult conflict, disrespectful or abusive behavior between parents.
  • Do not speak negatively about the other parent with the child.
  • Notify parents of close friends of the separation/divorce.
  • Notify the school of separation/divorce for support services.
  • Parent(s) should seek out support from parish community for child and parents – Divorce Recovery support group, pastoral support, resources.
  • Seek out professional counseling for the child, family – Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan
  • Attend support groups for separation/divorce for parents.